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Cash payments continue for suspended tourism workers

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Tourists visit Angkor Wat Temple in January 2022. Hong Menea

Cash payments continue for suspended tourism workers

The government, through the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, has announced it will continue to provide cash assistance to nearly 900 tourism workers whose contracts were suspended in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to a January 18 notice, the 88th cash payment will be transferred to 866 workers of 12 major tourism-related businesses.

It said Wing Bank will notify the workers via telephone, as it has done since the programme began.

The payments will be made in riel, and are based on the number of days per month an individual is suspended from work. Those who lose from 11 to 20 days of work will receive 121,500 riel (around $30), while those who lose 21 days to a full month of shifts will receive 162,000 riel.

Cambodia Association of Travel Agents adviser Ho Vandy said the continued provision of cash assistance to tourism workers will contribute to the sector’s post-pandemic recovery and also serve to attract local and foreign investors. Although a slight recovery has been noted, the industry still faces financial challenges.

“This is an encouraging sign, as reopening is not yet profitable for every tourism-related business. The sector has been in decline for more than two years, so we expect a recovery to take time,” he said.

He predicted that if Covid-19 remains under control and there are no more disruptions or natural disasters, tourism will return to pre-pandemic levels by 2024 or 2025.

The labour ministry reminded those who are eligible for the cash transfers that Wing Bank will return the money to the state if it remains unclaimed for 10 days from the first notification. A national ID card and the phone number that the notification was sent to are required to collect the cash. No service fees will be charged.

Should no notification be received, eligible workers should contact Wing Bank. It is each worker’s responsibility to ensure that the correct phone number is on file with their employer, it said.

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